Social robots are designed to coexist with people and learn through their interactions. We, in turn, are expected to develop ways of behaving, communicating, and organizing that support robots. Inspired by this co-evolving relationship, this talk will explore social robots as “companion artifacts”, focusing critical attention on how our concepts of self, cultural practices, social organizations, and sociotechnical infrastructures are co-constructed with existing and imagined social robots. I discuss how “Japanese culture” is repeatedly assembled in relation to social robots, what it means to “domesticate” robotic technologies, and how community-based methods can incorporate diverse sociocultural values into social robotics.
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